The world of online social media played a monolithic role in the lives of millions of individuals last year, as evidenced by an L.A. Times list of “Top 10 Moments in Social Media in 2009.” Social media has proven that one can indeed become famous overnight (Susan Boyle’s rousing performance on “Britain’s Got Talent” tallied over 8,300,000 views on YouTube), and that the news of celebrity deaths can often travel faster via Twitter than news outlets can handle (Michael Jackson’s death was already being debated online before being officially confirmed by the L.A. Times).
Online social media has apparently also turned anyone equipped with an iPhone and a computer into a reporter. A citizen’s snapshot of the Hudson River plane’s crash landing demonstrates how a single photograph can attract worldwide interest mere hours after being uploaded on Twitpic, Twitter’s photo-sharing service.
Until the next digital trend takes the whole world by storm, it is clear that the likes of Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube are here to stay. Serving the purpose of millions of individuals, from corporations to celebrities, online social media continues to affect our lives, transcending the boundaries of the Web to impact what we eat, what we buy, and most important, who we follow on Twitter.